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7 Ways Thinking like a Detective Will Make You Smarter

Being Vulnerable Is Being Smart

By being authentic, Clarice disarmed Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s intellectual superiority. Instead of trying to compete with him, her vulnerability made Hannibal more cooperative.

Being vulnerable reflects the best on you and others. You don’t need to outsmart others to find a great solution. Vulnerability is not a weakness, but a superpower — what we reflect comes back to us.

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7 Ways Thinking like a Detective Will Make You Smarter

7 Ways Thinking like a Detective Will Make You Smarter

https://medium.com/personal-growth/7-ways-thinking-like-a-detective-will-make-you-smarter-90c7ec688cc1

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Deduction and Mindfulness Go Together

Sherlock Holmes observed facts without being judgmental. He would construct a hypothesis about what he believed happened. He would then search for more evidence to logically validate his initial statements. The detective deconstructed what happened — piece by piece.

All Stories Are Possible — Until They Are Not

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot encourages everybody to tell their story.  Stories help Poirot comprehend what kind of person the victim was. And to uncover the murderer’ motive.

Storytelling is powerful to uncover insights, not just the truth. Design Thinking — a process for creative problem solving — leverages the power of stories to detect human desires and needs.

Be Relentless

Sarah Linden is the least self-aware television detective.

Her dedication to her work and stubbornness are unbeatable. She never gives up. Even though she fails in many aspects of her life — like being a mother. But, she keeps showing up and trying to do better. She tries again, fails again, and fails better.

Seek for the Aha! Moment

Detective Humphrey Goodman is very clumsy. He often forgets things and usually finds himself with nothing to take notes on.

Humphrey has a knack at being able to solve murders by making sense out of small details

An obsession with small details helps trigger an Aha! moment. Connecting what seems unrelated. But, when all the pieces fall into place, the solution ends makes sense.

Being Vulnerable Is Being Smart

By being authentic, Clarice disarmed Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s intellectual superiority. Instead of trying to compete with him, her vulnerability made Hannibal more cooperative.

Being vulnerable reflects the best on you and others. You don’t need to outsmart others to find a great solution. Vulnerability is not a weakness, but a superpower — what we reflect comes back to us.

Follow Your Intuition

Father Brown’s methods tend to be more intuitive rather than deductive. The Catholic priest is a detective in disguise.  He overplays appearing clumsy, and naive. Brown uses empathy to get inside the criminal mind. He can see what others can’t — that’s how he solve crimes.

Brown reminds us that you don’t need a formal title or expertise to be good at solving problems. His life as a priest turned him into an intuitive human behavior expert.

Find Your Sidekick

Sherlock had Watson. Linden has Holder. Ellie Miller is Alec Hardy perfect sidekick. She counterbalances his rational and relentless spirit.

A great duo is where both parts can complement and balance each other. We all need a partner in crime to help us see what we miss. Our sidekick is an accountability partner — it increases our chances of success.

Solving problems is about embracing different mindsets

Finding the solution is not enough — you want to eliminate the problem.

As P. D. James said: ‘What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.”

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Think like Sherlock Holmes

“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."

"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought...

Engagement
As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.

 As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.

Pitfalls of the Untrained Brain

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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Creative Thinking Defined

Creativity is not just reserved for artistic tasks such as writing, painting or composing music.

Creative thinking is the ability to consider something – a conflict between empl...

Top Creative Thinking Skills
  • Analytical. Before thinking creatively about something, you first have to be able to understand it.
  • Open-Minded. Setting aside any assumptions or biases you may have, and look at things in a completely new way.
  • Problem Solving. Using your creativity to solve important issues.
  • Organization. Being able to structure a plan of action with clear goals and deadlines is vital.
  • Communication. Strong written and oral communication skills to communicate your solutions effectively.
Examples of Creative Thinking
Generally, anything that involves an “aha” moment is considered creative.
  • Artistic Creativity. You don't have to be an artist for your work to have an artistic element. For example: Composing a new fundraising script for volunteers or devising a lesson plan that will engage students.
  • Creative Problem-Solving. For example: Coming up with new procedures to improve quality or suggesting a way to improve customer service.
  • Creativity in STEM. For example: Constructing a research model to test a hypothesis or devising a computer program to automate a billing process.
Systematic approach
Most people jump straight from finding a problem to attempting to solve it.

Having a systematic approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, ca...

Study the problem first

Detectives and investigators use the process. They ask both obvious and unthinkable questions.

Get close and collect information about how the problem is manifesting.  Understand where the problem does and doesn’t happen, when the problem started, and how often the problem occurs to generate critical insight for the problem-solving effort.

Question for great answers
  • Don’t look for solutions immediately; Keep redefining the problem until you arrive at the root cause.
  • Don’t try to guess the solution; try to understand how the obstacles, or challenges manifest first.
  • Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.
  • Consider all options, regardless of how irrelevant they currently appear.
  • Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. One good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.

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